Back in 2003 after having spent the year before reading Sarah Ban Breathnach's book "Simple Abundance" I took her suggestion to heart and wrote my own daily devotional. Each day I took a line or two from one of the various spiritual authors from the last three centuries I was reading and wrote my own thoughts on the subject. I then looked for a scripture that illustrated the truth that had been revealed to me. What follows is the result.

"Our greatest bondage is to have our own way; our greatest freedom is to let God have His way." Warren Wiersbe

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

April 19

“ ‘Oh, Mother, I do not see how you can love such a naughty little girl as I am,’ And I replied, ‘Ah, darling, you cannot understand.  I do not love you for what you are, but I love you for what I am.  I am your mother, and I love you because of my mother-heart of love.’ ”  Hannah Whitall Smith, Daily Secrets, 4/18

I chose this to write about today because I feel it holds a secret that needs to be discovered by me.  I know that God loves me because He is love and can’t help but love me.  This is why Hannah used this conversation with her daughter to illustrate how God loves us despite our failings.  But I feel there’s something in this concerning my ability to love other people.  Like Hannah, I too can’t help but love my children because I am their mother.  But I’m not everybody’s mother and therefore can’t rely on my “mother’s heart” to love them.  Perhaps this is another way to understand that apart from Christ I am nothing.  I can’t love other people because I’m not their mother.  I can’t love other people because I’m not God.  I can’t even love myself!  So, I really must leave it to God to love them and me.  When the Bible says to love your neighbor as yourself I feel it is saying the love I receive from God because He first loved me is the love I’m to share with my neighbor.  It’s not that I love myself.  It’s that I am loved and therefore become a conduit of Love Itself--God.

“We love, because he first loved us.  If any one says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother who he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.  And this commandment we have from him that he who loves God should love his brother also.”  1 John 4:19-21

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